Ten Commandments of Church Growth

Joel Edwards, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance, was the speaker at the Easter People main celebration on the Saturday evening in Llandudno, speaking in part about the church and its role in today's society. In the course of his address he described how he had been rung up one Friday evening by Ruth Gledhill (although he did not name her) and asked what guidelines he could give for the future of the church. Her subsequent article appeared in The Times on Saturday 17 March under the title 'Less is more when it comes to worshippers'. She reviewed a survey of more than 8,000 churches of all denominations which showed that the decline was mainly in the larger churches, particularly those over 200 members, and growth was taking place in the smallest churches. It included reference to the Springboard report 'There are answers in the face of declining church attendance', and comments by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey. Joel Edwards' own contribution appeared as an insert under the title 'Ten commandments for church growth' and he quoted these at Easter People. After the meeting several people asked if they could be reproduced in Headline, and Joel readily agreed to that request put to him by the Headway Vice-Chairman, Peter Mitchell. We therefore list them with our gratitude to Joel Edwards.

  1. Don't just have a welcome mat: be welcoming
  2. Get the building to say 'hello!'
  3. Worship like you really mean it
  4. Make everybody feel important
  5. Make the kids happy and they'll bring their parents along
  6. Act generally as though you expect 'outsiders' to come in
  7. Preach about things people talk about
  8. Take the Bible more seriously than you take yourself
  9. Talk about God as though he's turned up
  10. Make Jesus a midweek man